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So You Have a Beautiful Store and Beautiful Jewelry … But What Do You Know about Your Staff?

Invest time in training and getting to know your team in order to make them the best they can be in your business.




KARA JUST STARTED at the jewelry store a week ago. The store’s been a bit understaffed, so Kara’s kind of just been pushed out there on her own to sell jewelry. Her manager trained her on the computer, how to write up a sale, where they keep the wrapping paper and how to set up in the morning, but nobody spent time with her to teach her how to sell jewelry. She’s had previous customer service experience at the mall selling earrings at the kiosk, but no real independent jewelry store professional training.

We build beautiful stores. Spend thousands on the buildout and tens of thousands filling our cases. We have beautiful elements to place our jewelry on, and gorgeous lighting to make it sparkle. We spend tons of money everywhere in our businesses to make sure the customer has a great experience, but the one area that is most often neglected is the pinnacle of the customer experience and that is the face-to-face, one-on-one sales professional to customer communication.

That moment right there is where we make it or break it so many times a day. And what are WE doing as owners and managers to keep Kara motivated? To give her the tools she needs to make selling jewelry a rewarding career for her?

One huge thing we can do is to get to know everyone that works for us on a deeper level. Sit down with them over a cup of coffee and learn about their family, their hobbies and interests, the things that make them tick and the things that tick them off. I’m not suggesting that this turn into an extremely personal “pour their heart out” type of talk, but rather, wouldn’t it be neat to ask Janie the next time you see her, “How’s Matthew’s pitching arm?” Can you imagine how far a question like that goes for her?

It’s by getting to know our people that we can learn how to motivate them individually. It’ll help you think twice when making blanket HR decisions or company policies. Sometimes, those types of moves can really alienate people. And isn’t it okay to hear from Ryan, who’s worked for you for three years, that he wants to finish his degree in computer science? What could YOU do to help him with that and possibly turn it into a plus for your company? Wouldn’t you rather he come to you now and tell you that than him just giving his notice out of the blue?

Truly knowing your people allows you to run your company with empathy and compassion, and when you do that, your people will know you really care about them. Now you will have a motivated team that will exceed all your expectations. And what did that cost you? A little time? Some coffee money?Certainly a lot less than hiring three more newbies and getting them up and running.


And not only will you gain wisdom for how to run your company happier, you’ll truly gain a deep level of care for your team, the ones working with your customers every day, the people who can make you or break you. Our jewelry and stores are fabulous, but customers are talking with our people. Invest some of your time in them individually, and you’ll be immensely rewarded.

Jimmy DeGroot is a jewelry store manager who has been in the business for over 20 years. Now he spends his time training teams around the world at and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at Sign up for training videos here.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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